It’s mushroom season here and in the forest people are behaving strangely. Walkers look secretive, as we approach on horseback they try to hide behind trees, or even pretend that the basket on their arm isn’t full of beautiful wild mushrooms. Best friends won’t tell each other where they find their mushrooms, this information is best kept in the family !![blank]
Yes … where to find the best mushrooms is one of France’s best kept secrets. Collecting mushrooms is a favourite Sunday afternoon activity – a slow walk after the family lunch, armed with a basket , a small knife and hopefully some knowledge of mushrooms. It’s surprisingly easy to pick the wrong sort, which could be dangerous. Those with doubt about mushrooms found outdoors, take them to a local chemist who is trained to identify and advise.
The good news is that if you don’t know where to pick them, you can buy them fresh in the markets and grocer stores. We love a fricasée or a poelée of girolles. These bright yellow upright trumpet shaped mushrooms are full of flavour and, lightly fried with garlic and parsley, they are fantastic with meat.
So if you are able to get your hands on some girolles, here’s the recipe for a simple fricasée:
500grams or 1 lb of girolles
30 g or1 oz of butter
a bunch of parsley
2 cloves of garlic
Wash and dry the girolles, discard the earthy end to the stem. Melt the butter in a frying pan and start cooking the mushrooms, chopped garlic and about half the parsley finely chopped. Once the juice from the girolles has evaporated turn the heat up and continue cooking for about 10 minutes without letting the mushrooms become dark in colour.
Some people like to add a little cream at this stage, optional! Serve with the remaining parley cut finely over the top.